Evaluate campaigns throughout the process, urges COI director

Marketing Week Live!: Marketers must not leave evaluation to the end of a campaign, and must focus on scrutinising every aspect of communication, the head of the government’s direct marketing team has warned.

Speaking at the Data Marketing Show, part of Marketing Week Live!, today (30 June) the COI’s director of marketing and Evaluation, Marc Michaels said too many marketers did not consider evaluation until the end of a campaign and were not learning lessons from their mistakes as a result.

“Marketers must be more accountable and focus on evaluating campaign metrics at every step of the process. This starts from the planning and continues through to the campaign run and to the response statistics afterwards. Key to any campaign success is knowing what information is coming in, and using it to make changes if necessary so you become that much closer to your overall goal,” he said.

Michaels, who was recently awarded an IDM Honorary Life Fellowship, said marketers should think of evaluation from the very beginning when they are creating evidence bases and setting out methodologies.

“This is especially crucial right now, when there is massive pressure on public expenditure and value for money is key – so solid business cases are crucial, as they should be everywhere,” he said referring to the coalition government’s latest cuts to advertising budgets.

Michaels said this planning should apply across all marketing channels, adding “it must be consistent, robust, proving value for money, effectiveness and a solid case that you are spending wisely…understand the intermediate outcomes, outcomes and external factors [Holistic Evauation], and know what you expect the payback to be so you’re always one step ahead knowing what to do if a campaign doesn’t meet your original expectations.”

“Core to this is showing that you understand the entire customer journey and how to really get them involved. It’s not just about big numbers, but assessing how well consumers are reacting to your campaigns and adjusting your media spend accordingly avoiding expensive mistakes.” He described the process as “campaign taxonomy.”

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